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Grand Canyon

North Rim

Location: United States, North America

Best time to visit: spring summer fall


What to do and what to see:

The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is a spectacular destination for nature lovers, and only ten percent of the Canyon’s five million annual visitors venture to the North Rim area. Rising close just under 9000 feet above sea level, the views from the unspoiled edges of the Grand Canyon are unmatched. The park service offers educational and informative nature walks and other interpretive programs for visitors, and the themes and topics vary monthly. Available lodging inside the National Park includes the stunning Grand Canyon Lodge at Bright Angel Point, offering rustic cabins and lush motel rooms with dazzling open views. The reservation-only restaurant at the lodge is first-rate, with excellent fare and a beautiful open-air balcony at the edge of the canyon expanse; a gift shop is also available. The North Rim Campground has spacious full-facility wooded tent sites, and the best edge-of-the-rim sites are booked months or years in advance. No RV hook-ups are available at this locale, but a dump station is present, and campground stays are limited to a maximum of 7 days per season. The facility typically closes to campers in mid-October. Point Imperial and Cape Royal are notable viewing sites close by, accessible via automobile. Native animals such as the California condor, the Kaibab squirrel, deer, bison, mountain lions and other woodland creatures are abundant, and park officials remind all visitors never to feed or approach any of the animals that call the North Rim home. The park publishes trail maps of the area’s many marked walking paths, and the National Park Service only grants a limited number of backcountry permits for hikers traveling on foot into the Canyon, so apply for these well in advance of your backpacking trip. Trail rides for one-hour (upper rim only), half-day or full day inner-canyon trips are available, as well as longer 3- to 21-day Colorado River whitewater rafting trips and smooth water rafting trips. Sunrises and sunsets at the North Rim provide optimum photo opportunities, and the awe-inspiring views are sure to leave a lasting impression.

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